Fason announces eligibility for NFL early entry

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- University of Florida junior Ciatrick Fason has declared himself eligible as an early entry for the NFL, the 6-0, 215-pound tailback announced Wednesday.

Entering the 2004 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Fason has carried the ball 298 times in his career for 1,783 yards (6.0 avg.) and 14 rushing touchdowns. As Florida's starting tailback in 2004, Fason finished the regular season with 205 carries for 1,173 yards and 10 touchdowns. He became one of only seven Gators to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season and was the fourth fastest to do so as he eclipsed the mark in the ninth game of the season at Vanderbilt. Fason leads the SEC in rushing yards per game with 106.6 and is second in the in all-purpose yards with 127.2 per game. This season he was a CNNSI All-America Honorable Mention selection, an All-SEC First Team (AP) honoree and an All-SEC Second Team (Coaches) choice.

"The University of Florida has always been special to me and I would like to thank everyone for making it a great experience," said Fason. "I remember coming to Florida on my recruiting visit and having tears in my eyes the first time I came into "The Swamp". It was a decision that was on my mind the entire season, but I did not let it become a distraction. Instead, it made me work even harder. The choice came down to a decision I had to make for my wife and our two children. I believe the program is in great shape and that Gator fans should be excited about the future. I intend to complete my education down the road."

Collegiate underclassmen have until Jan. 15, 2005 to declare for the NFL Draft and have until Jan. 18, 2005 to withdraw their name.

Complete Bio
Career Rushing Stats:
2002	9	27	3.0	1	9
2003	84	583	6.9	3	75
2004	205	1,173	5.7	10	55	
Totals	298	1,783	6.0	14	75

Career Receiving Stats:
2003	11	142	12.9	3	35
2004	31	226	7.3	2	30	
Totals	42	368	8.8	5	35

Career Kick Return Stats:
2003	1	0	0	0	0	
Totals	1	0	0	0	0

Career Highs:
Rushing Attempts: 31 (Kentucky, 2004)
Rushing Yards: 210 (Kentucky, 2004)
Rushing TDs: 2 (Twice, last vs. Arkansas, 2004)
Receptions: 5 (Three times, last vs. Georgia, 2004)
Receiving Yards: 52 (Vanderbilt, 2004)
Receiving TDs: 1 (5x, last vs. South Carolina, 2004))

Ciatrick Fason 
Running Back * 6-0 * 215 
Junior, 2L 
Jacksonville Beach
Fletcher HS 
A true junior starting running back who has played in 37 consecutive games, every game of his career…CAREER: Was the only true freshman in 2002 to play in all 13 games…Scored a touchdown in his first collegiate game, the season opener vs. UAB in 2002…Named UF's 2004 Outstanding Running Back…Recipient of the Ray Graves Most Player, Fergie Ferguson and Offensive Captain Awards…One of only seven running backs to rush for 1,000 yards in a season at UF…Averaging 6.4 yards per touch over the past two seasons to lead the SEC (rushing and receiving)…Has seven career 100-yard rushing games…Has achieved three 200-yard all-purpose games in his career…Sixth running back in UF history to score 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season…Has 298 career carries for 1,783 yards (6.0 avg.) and 14 rushing touchdowns…Also has 42 receptions for 368 yards (8.8 avg.) and five receiving touchdowns…2004: The Gators starting tailback…CNNSI All-American Honorable Mention…AP All-SEC First Team Offense…Member of the All-SEC Coaches Second Team Offense…Broke the 1,000-yard mark for the season at Vanderbilt in only his ninth game…Only Emmitt Smith, Jimmy Dubose and Errict Rhett eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark faster at UF…Led the SEC in rushing yards per game with 106.6 yards per game…Second in the SEC with 12 touchdowns…Second in the SEC in all-purpose yards with 127.2 per game…Averaged 5.7 yards per carry…31 catches was number one in the SEC among running backs and was third-best on the team…Had six 100-yard efforts(EMU, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Florida State)…Career-high two rushing touchdowns and second career 100-yard game (105) versus EMU…Recorded career-highs in rushing yards (210), attempts (31), receiving yards (43) and receptions (five) with two touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving) against Kentucky…His 210 yards rushing against Kentucky was the best rushing total since Emmitt Smith ran for 316 yards against New Mexico in 1989…Matched career-best two rushing touchdowns while leading the team with 62 yards rushing vs. Arkansas…Totaled 143 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown against MSU…Rushed for 139 yards against Georgia and matched a career-high five receptions for 35 yards…Enjoyed sixth career 100-yard rushing day at Vanderbilt with 170 yards on 26 carries…Totaled 222 all-purpose yards at Vanderbilt, his highest total of the season and set a career-high in receiving yards with 52 on four catches…Scored 11th touchdown of the season when he caught a five-yard touchdown pass against South Carolina…Scored the game-winning touchdown and eclipsed the 100-yard barrier for the seventh time in his career when he rushed for 103 yards on 24 carries versus Florida State…Rushed for 78 of his 103 rushing yards and scored his 10th rushing touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter…Only running back in 2004 to eclipse the 100-yard barrier against the No. 1 FSU run defense…Fason averaged 4.3 yards per carry against a defense that was allowing only 1.87 per rush…2003: Saw time in the running back rotation and on special teams (kickoff, punt, punt return and kick-off return teams), playing in all 13 games for 295 plays…Was the starting tailback versus Arkansas, FSU and Iowa…Ranked second on the team with 583 rushing yards on 84 attempts (6.9 avg)…Also had 11 catches for 142 yards (12.9 avg), including a 40-yarder vs. South Carolina and three receiving touchdowns…Finished third on the team with six touchdowns, three rushing and three receiving…Averaged 6.9 yards per carry, the highest average among UF backs with 10 or more carries…Combined for 725 all-purpose yards (583 rushing and 142 receiving), the third-highest total on the team…Averaged 7.6 yards per touch…Was part of only the second trio of backs in UF history to each rush for 500 or more yards in the same season, combining with Ran Carthon and DeShawn Wynn for 1,718 rushing yards (Neal Anderson, J.L. Williams and Lorenzo Hampton each rushed for 500+ yards in 1984)…Caught a 25-yard or longer pass in three consecutive games (LSU, Arkansas, Georgia)…Played a key role, averaging 89.2 rushing yards per game, in the Gators five-game winning streak (LSU, Arkansas, Georgia, Vandy, South Carolina)…Also averaged 15.9 yards per reception over that period on seven catches for 111 yards…Ranked second on the team with 12 offensive "Big Plays"- eight runs and four receptions of 20+ yards…Averaged 35.6 yards per "Big Play" on offensive plays of 20+ yards…Had an offensive "Big Play" in seven different games (SJSU, FAMU, LSU, Arkansas, Georgia, Vandy, USC)…Led the team in rushing yardage in three times (LSU, Arkansas, South Carolina) and attempts once (South Carolina)…Rushed for 190 yards in the win at USC- the highest total by a UF back at the time since Errict Rhett rushed for 196 yards vs. Auburn in 1993, and was the 10th-highest total in school history at that point…Had the fifth best rushing performance in the SEC in 2003, and was named UF Offensive Player of the Week, with his 190 yards vs. USC…Averaged 9.5 yards per carry on a career-high 20 attempts in the win…Was the only Gator back of the season to have three or more big offensive runs of 20+ yards in a single game when he had carries of 40,30,25 and 20 yards against the Gamecocks…Made first career start vs. Arkansas, leading all backs with 98 yards on 11 carries…Scored on both a running and passing play, including a 75-yard touchdown run…His 75-yard touchdown run in the win over No. 11 Arkansas, was the longest from scrimmage since Emmitt Smith ran for 96 yards in 1988 vs. Mississippi State…Led the Gators ground game at No. 6 LSU when Ran Carthon and DeShawn Wynn were injured, totaling 127 yards of offense, including a then career-long 62-yard run and a career-long 35-yard catch…Named UF Offensive Player of the Week after rushing 92 yards vs. LSU on the ground…Was one yard shy of his season total through the first six games…Ranked second on the team with 11 carries vs. FAMU…Caught the first pass of his career, a 23-yarder from quarterback Ingle Martin vs. SJSU in the season-opener…Averaged 5.7 yards on three carries in UF's win over San Jose State…Named UF Outstanding Running Back…2002: Only freshman to play in all 13 games and one of two to see action…Switched from running back to fullback for the last four games of the season…Saw action as a kickoff returner and played on punt block, kick coverage and field goal teams…Saw action for 229 plays, third highest of any Gator running back…Scored a TD in his first collegiate game vs. UAB…Had four carries for 10 yards and one TD…Had a season-high long run of nine yards against UAB…Saw action in the 2003 Outback Bowl against Michigan…PREP: One of the nation's elite prep running backs who gained consensus prep All-America recognition in 2001…Named to prestigious Parade All-America Team …Ranked among the nation's top 10 overall players by Rivals.com and that group also ranked him as the nation's top running back…Named to PrepStar's All-America Dream Team and that publication ranked him among the nation's top two running backs…Named to SuperPrep's All-America Team and that publication ranked him among the country's top two running backs… Ranked among the nation's top two running backs by National Bluechips in its "Power-I Tailbacks" category… Named 5A Mr. Football in Florida…Four-time team MVP…Rushed for over 7,400 career yards and completed his career as the state of Florida's fifth all-time leading rusher and tops in Northeast Florida history…Rushed for over 2,000 yards twice – 1999 and 2001…Verbally committed on Signing Day 2001 and did not visit any other schools…High school coach was Joe Reynolds…PERSONAL: Born Ciatrick Antione Fason on Oct. 29, 1982 in Atlanta, Georgia…Favorite book is Walter Payton's biography…Parent: Barbara Fason …MAJOR: Social & Behavioral Sciences.

Fightin Gators Top Stories